I was recently assigned to cover a story at Charlie Trotter, a Chicago restaurant regarded by most as one of the best in the world (#14 on many lists). With my eating habits consisting mostly of frozen pizza and whatever the store across the street happens to be selling, I was rather excited to get out and experience a world class restaurant. I was surprised to find out, upon arrival, that I would actually get to have the entire Trotter dining experience as well, as I got to eat the entire 9-course grand menu meal.
Getting back on track, though. The story I was there to cover is a piece for UR Chicago which will talk about the restaurant's 20-year anniversary, which is coming up. I took many photos of the building, the kitchen, and also of the group of kids Charlie had as his guests this day in particular (he does a charity dinner for deserving kids 3 days/week, every week) and at the end, of Chef Trotter himself.
It's always fun doing portraits on the fly, in a location you are not familiar with. It keeps you on your toes completely. This situation was even more challenging, as I was dealing with a sort of famous subject, had no control over the location, had a time limit and was also shooting while the subject, Mr. Trotter, was being interviewed. Needless to say, I think I got a few shots in the bunch that I am quite satisfied with. The room was tight and the lighting was less than stellar, but you tell me what you think!
How nightlife photography is making everyone famous
"Claaaayton, will you take a good picture of me for once?" asks a pouty-lipped girl in a sparkly vest as we walk down the stairs into Smart Bar. Three other girls join her, alternatively winking, licking their lips and blowing posed kisses. Clayton Hauck hasn't even taken his camera out of the bag.
Hauck has a nightlife photo gallery, www.everyoneisfamous.com, and tonight he has come to get pictures of Justice, a pair of Parisian DJs, and the debauched dancers who swarm the floor. In this swamp of tight dark jeans, eyeliner and thick-framed plastic glasses, he looks a little bit like a South Beach private eye with his beige fedora resting over his shoulder-length hair, tanned arms and a curled blond mustache outlining his pink lips. Hauck has been out of clean clothes for the last week. The only way he has been surviving is by wearing the sample clothing that his friend in L.A. shipped to him. Oh, and the last time he took a shower--in classically time-starved fashion--he washed his underwear along with his blondish hair. But who's to blame him? In order to keep up with the burgeoning demands (nightly shooting and daily updating and editing, plus all that drinking) of his Web site, Hauck has been sleeping an average four hours a night and devouring Red Bulls.